The mission of Essex County Family Justice Center (ECFJC) is to enhance the safety and autonomy of domestic violence victims and their children by providing comprehensive, trauma-informed, and coordinated services in one location.
Essex County Family Justice Center is a culturally specific service provider that serves victims of all backgrounds and ethnicities. However, the majority of victims served represent the most marginalized, underserved victims of intimate partner violence. ECFJC’s Trustees and bilingual staff also fully represent the demographics of Essex County, New Jersey. ECFJC assesses each victim through use of the Danger Assessment Instrument, an evidence-based risk actuarial tool. Every year a significant number of victims served are determined to be at risk of domestic violence homicide.
Who We Are
Essex County Family Justice Center was established in direct response to the high rates of domestic violence homicides consistently being documented in the NJ State Police Uniform Crime Report for Essex County and Newark from 2004 to the present.
Domestic violence continues to impact Newark in 2019-2022 at alarming rates. New Jersey State Police’s 2019 Annual Domestic Violence Offense ("Uniform Crime") Report states there were 6,420 domestic violence assaults in Essex – New Jersey’s leader for these assaults, and 3,304 for Newark, (51.6% of the county’s total). Domestic violence assault represents complex trauma. Ongoing research confirms that untreated complex trauma leaves survivors exhibiting recurrent trauma-responses of dissociation, depression, anxiety, and PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disease), with reduced self-esteem and independence. Research also confirms that although marginalized groups are disproportionately impacted by violent trauma, Newark domestic violence survivors face almost insurmountable barriers to accessing trauma-specific services. Most domestic violence services focus on connecting victims to first levels of care, i.e. crisis intervention and stabilization. The victims Essex County Family Justice Center serves typically cannot access critically important, 2nd level, person-centered care.
As such, Essex County Family Justice Center is seeking to further address the mental health, complex trauma needs essential to their long-term recovery and healing. The Project will expand access for Essex County Family Justice Center’s most at-risk, marginalized clients to trauma-specific therapeutic services. Essex County Family Justice Center is ideally suited to implement this Project, as its operation reduces the barriers and fragmentation of conventional domestic violence services by co-locating multidisciplinary professionals at its facility, a one-stop intake function, and current, but limited, provision of therapeutic-services.
If you are looking for any of these services, call us or chat below.
We will offer resources in order to navigate critical situations involving intense emotional strain. This will be tailored to your immediate needs.
Enhanced Safety Planning
You can meet with a domestic violence advocate to discuss how to stay safe and learn what services the Family Justice Center offers.
Assistance from Prosecution Professionals
Staff from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office can explain and navigate your criminal justice options and speak with you about open criminal complaints.
Assistance from Law Enforcement Professionals
A Detective can help you report a crime, check on the status of a report, and help you take steps to stay safe.
Therapists are available to meet one-on-one or you can join one of our support groups. Available in English and Spanish.
Advocates can help provide information and referrals for housing help, job training and employment assistance to help you make the best choices for your life.
Civil, Legal & Immigration Assistance
Civil legal professionals can speak with you about legal issues such as restraining orders, custody, visitation and child support. Referrals for assistance with immigration and other related civil legal matters can also be made.
Increase safety, promote healing, and foster empowerment through services for victims and their children
Maintain close working relationships among all collaborators/agencies: law enforcement, prosecution, community- based domestic violence programs, shelters and other social services
Provide victim-centered services that promote victim autonomy
Develop a Family Justice Center community that values, affirms, recognizes and supports staff, volunteers, and clients
Commitment to the utilization of culturally competent services approaches that are measurable and behavior based
Integrate primary, secondary and tertiary prevention approaches into all initiatives, programs, and projects
Intervene and Prevent
Engage all communities through outreach and community
Offer survivors a place to belong after crisis intervention services are no longer necessary
Shape services to clients by asking them what they need
Increase offender accountability through evidence-based prosecution strategies
Evaluate and adjust services by including survivor input and evidence-based best practices